The Identity Dilemma: Experiencing Multiculturalism in the US and Colombia

Alyssa is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. -   From a conversation with a friend who has just seen me in a shirt that says “100% California”: Friend: You should get a shirt that says 50% California, 50% Chinese. Me: Well, actually the Chinese side has been in … Continue reading The Identity Dilemma: Experiencing Multiculturalism in the US and Colombia

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Life As a Queer Volunteer

José is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -   Before coming to Colombia, I didn’t think I would have much culture shock. After all, I’m of Latino origins, I speak Spanish at home, and I’ve lived in Mexico and Chile. However, I was wrong.  The move came with … Continue reading Life As a Queer Volunteer

Spot the Americans In This Picture

Karen is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in veredas in Magdalena, Colombia. -\   I've had a great time showing off my family to curious friends, neighbors, students and coworkers.  For them, meeting one Hispanic-American volunteer was shocking enough -- realizing she comes from an entire family of racially ambiguous people has … Continue reading Spot the Americans In This Picture

What PC Service is like as a Costeña-Americana

Dezi is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. - When I submitted my application to serve in the Peace Corps my expectation was to be placed in any Community Economic Development (CED) sector in Africa or Eastern Europe. When the Peace Corps invited me to the Caribbean Coast … Continue reading What PC Service is like as a Costeña-Americana

La Gringa con la Cara de Asia

Angell

Angell is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in veredas in Magdalena, Colombia. -   -“Japonesa?” -“No.” -“China?” -“Tampoco.” -(And if we are really good at guessing…) “Coreana?” *Umm, you forgot the Americana part, señor. Then, we proceed to the next level of some of my favorite questions… -“De dónde eres?” -“Soy de … Continue reading La Gringa con la Cara de Asia

Gringa Postiza

Daniella is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Bolívar, Colombia. -   When I think of diversity in the Peace Corps and my experience serving in Colombia as a first generation Latina I automatically reflect on my own identity. Growing up in Los Angeles with immigrant parents from El Salvador, … Continue reading Gringa Postiza

Being Fat in a Beauty Pageant Culture

Carrie is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -   “You are getting fat, Carrie,” my host mom says to me as I sit down outside with my afternoon cup of coffee. “You were getting thin but now you’re getting fat again.” It shocks me because, while … Continue reading Being Fat in a Beauty Pageant Culture

Afro-Colombian Dances at Semana Santa Celebration

Alexandra is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in La Guajira, Colombia. -   https://youtu.be/qxzFpgyGT4k Girls between the ages of 6 and 12 performed with Afro-Colombian pride during this past spring break celebration in Dibulla, La Guajira. The older girls performed a remix of three songs they chose: a song by … Continue reading Afro-Colombian Dances at Semana Santa Celebration

A Gringo-Latino in Colombia

Samuel is a Practical English for Success volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -\   One of the things I most appreciate about being from California is the diversity I have been exposed to my entire life. I grew up interacting with people of all backgrounds and cultures.  I had friends who were … Continue reading A Gringo-Latino in Colombia

Where are they now: RPCVs after PC Colombia

It's easy to wonder where the heck we can go from Peace Corps, so we asked RPCVs what they are doing now.   Aara Johnson, CII-5, TEL (English teaching) Since finishing service in November 2015, I moved to Bogota for 5 months to volunteer at Fundación Escuela Nueva. I provided technical assistance in monitoring/evaluation on … Continue reading Where are they now: RPCVs after PC Colombia

Buen Provecho: Auyama Carrot Thai Curry

Megyn is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. -   I made this dish for my Colombian family. I left the red pepper flakes out until the end in which I just added to my bowl because they don’t care for spicy. In fact, the ginger was borderline … Continue reading Buen Provecho: Auyama Carrot Thai Curry

Buen Provecho: Spanky Meatloaf and Cinnamon Rolls

Barbara was a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a city in Magdalena, Colombia. - Main course This is a variation of my mom’s classic meatloaf recipe. It’s great as a leftover – reheated alone or in a meatloaf sandwich. Suggested side dishes: baked or mashed potatoes, baked squash, Carrots Vichy. Note: since … Continue reading Buen Provecho: Spanky Meatloaf and Cinnamon Rolls

VAC Mini-grant Recipients

For those of you that don't know, the VAC Mini-Grant program is intended to support volunteers' community initiatives by providing a streamlined source of small cash grants. However modest, PCVs have come to rely on the $50,000 COP (equal to approximately $17 USD) grants as a consistent and reliable crowd-funded financial resource. Since January 2016, … Continue reading VAC Mini-grant Recipients